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Comparethemarket.com owner BGL scraps London listing plans in favour of stake sale
November 23, 2017 / 12:23 PM / 22 days ago

Comparethemarket.com owner BGL scraps London listing plans in favour of stake sale

(Reuters) - BGL Group [IPO-BGL.L], owner of Comparethemarket.com, said on Thursday it would sell a 30 percent stake for about 675 million pounds ($899 million) to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) instead of listing its shares in London.

BHL, the owner of BGL Group, will retain a majority shareholding in the business and the deal is expected to be completed by the end of April, it said.

“During the course of our IPO preparations, our shareholder BHL received a number of approaches from different kinds of investors... A competitive process followed and our view was that CPPIB was the best partner for BGL,” the chairman of BGL Group, Peter Winslow, said.

The announcement is another blow to the London Stock Exchange after earlier this month telecoms masts firm Arqiva IPO-ARGL.L, Britain’s biggest debt collector Cabot Credit Management and business services firm TMF Group all pulled deals.

    The announcement of the float plans had driven hopes of a revival of the market for initial public offerings (IPO) in Britain, a market that has been muted since Britons voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.

    Ready meals firm Bakkavor Group (BAKK.L), this month pulled but then resurrected its market debut plan.

    Up until November, British IPOs have this year raised $5.2 billion, a 13 percent drop on the same period a year ago.

    BGL Group distributes insurance and household financial services to 8.5 million customers and runs price comparison websites Comparethemarket.com in Britain and LesFurets.com in France.

    Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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